What If?

Big One asked if we could make popcorn today about 30 minutes before I usually pull out the dino shaped chicken nuggets and goldfish crackers cook a nutrition lunch from scratch. Initially, I said no but then decided why not? We have a stir crazy popcorn popper and he loves watching it. As we sat cuddling on the couch eating out popcorn, I started thinking about how my day would be different if I had gone back to work after Little One was born.

  1. I would have showered by now.
  2. I would be wearing something a little more stylish but not nearly as comfortable.
  3. If work was anything like the last few months I was there, I would be trying to look busy by scrounging up any busy work possible. (Boring)
  4. I would be staring at pictures of the kids instead of staring at (and cuddling) the real thing.
  5. I wouldn't be stressed about our health insurance situation.
  6. Big One would have social interaction with kids his own age. But he would throw huge fits every morning, insisting he wanted to stay home. Little One would be held and rocked by someone else. I would miss them even if the social interaction was good for them.
  7. When I picked the kids up from daycare, I would hope to not see yet another sign disclosing a contagious disease that has infested the daycare. (The amount of time I spend googling the symptoms of random childhood illnesses has drastically decreased!)
  8. I wouldn't have the freedom to schedule my day as I see fit.
  9. I would have had to park at the top of the hill so I could even get to work. Then I would have had to drive on snowy streets that either aren't yet plowed or were plowed by someone who really didn't care if he did a good job or not. I hate driving in snow!
  10. I wouldn't have to look around and see the mess that never disappears at our house!
  11. I wouldn't be listening to Big One blowing air through the straw from his juice box even though I've asked him to stop no less than 10 times.
  12. I would be listening to arrogant coworkers, some of whom actually clip their nails at their desks. Gross!
So what's the verdict? Where would I rather be? Right where I am, of course. That's not to say there aren't trade offs (see # 5 and 10). I've never questioned my decision. It felt right from the beginning (even when the kids are driving me nuts and I want to curl up in a ball under the covers). But I think no matter what decision you make in the stay at home/work at home/work outside the home dilemma, there are benefits and sacrifices.

And now my random thinking is done for the day.


Jolene said...

I think about this sometimes too, but thanks for putting it into perspective.
If I would have kept my job, I wouldn't be able to look over right at this minute and see my baby sleeping so peacefully....

Lucky Me! said...

You made the right decision. Your kids are only young once and for a short period of time. Once they get older and are in middle/high school (about the time you want to send them to Switzerland for boarding school) you can think about going back to work. LOL

Lucky Me! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AnastasiaSpeaks said...

My kids love those nuggets!

I love your post today. It's something I think about a lot. I feel so lucky and blessed that I get to stay home.

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

When my husband was in seminary, worked in a daycare with toddlers. I had one little boy call me "mommy" right in front of his mom. I made the decison right then and there that MY children wouldn't call anyone mommy but ME. As SAHMs, we get to see the daily joys that we would miss if we shuffled them off to daycare. As for social interaction--are there any mom's groups or playgroups in your area? We have two that we go to and it not only gives Zach and Emma social interaction, but me as well!

Anonymous said...

Completely agreed! I now work Part time but my kids don't even really know it cause they are at school when I'm at work. The only day I miss is Sunday and that gives them a day to bond with just their dad!
I hope you find a win/win situation with health insurance! My Hub had the same thing happen a few months back - luckily I had my part time job that offered benefits otherwise I would be exactly where you are!

jen@odbt said...

I sometimes wonder what my day would be like if I wasn't at home especially on those days when all heck is breaking loose. I think about how I could go to the bathroom alone, adult conversation, eat a meal without interruption (ok, that's not true where I used to work). Then one of my kids does something that just melts my heart. I'm blessed that we are fortunate to allow me to stay home to share all the everyday moments - good and bad.

Jessi said...

Oh, you took the words right out of my brain. Every now and again I wonder, too, what my (our) life would be like if the kids were in day care and I was bringing home a second paycheck.

But I'm with you....there is no more perfect place for me to be right now. Do the kids DRIVE.ME.NUTS--yes! But they wouldn't be my kids if they didn't. ;-)

Thanks for putting into words what many of us relatively-new SAHMs think about sometimes.

Happy2bme said...

I am on the opposite end of the spectrum regarding this subject. Once I divorced and became a single mom there was no choice for me. I had to work to make sure there was food on the table and make sure we could live a comfortable life. I agree with you there's pros and cons to each side but definitely if I had the choice I would have chosen to be with my son on a full time basis. It just wasn't in the cards for me. :o) I have no regrets. Life is still good.

Melody said...

Today was one of those curl up under the covers days for me but still I am so happy being home with my kids.